As a manufacturer of tungsten carbide precision wear parts, our name Endurance Carbide makes a lot of sense: carbide lasts a long time – much longer than steel.
Expansion in the consumption of cemented carbide continues to grow.
World total of 10 tons in 1930; to 100 tons in the mid 30’s to a 1,000 tons in the early 40’s to 10,000 tons in the early 1960’s to 30,000 ton today.
Our company started in 1961, shortly after carbide’s initial growth in prominence following the late 1950s. Before then, steel had quite the monopoly throughout the World War II era.
Compared to carbide, steel is less expensive. While you may save on the upfront cost with steel, it doesn’t last as long. You’ll be replacing steel products multiple times before you have to replace one of carbide.
For example, we’ve had a customer that previously used steel punches in their operation. Each machine used two punches, and with working around the clock, they were using six steel punches per day ($34.83 each punch), per machine. Additionally, they were losing a half hour of production per each punch change. When they switched to carbide punches ($98.24 each punch), the machines ran for 15 days around the clock before they required a change. Comparison. Steel Punches = 2 punches per machine $34.83 x 2 = $69.66 x 3 times a day = $208.98 x 15 days = $3134.70
per machine compared to carbide which equaled $196.48 per machine for 15 days with no hour and half per day downtime.
Carbide is tremendously effective and lasts longer. You may pay a little more in short term, but it’s a cost-savings measure in the long term. The longer tool life not only eventually saves you money, but also increases production since you’ll have less machine downtime.
And carbide has only improved since it first arrived to the scene. When it first started getting used, there were only a limited amount carbide grades – ranging from C-2 through C-19. There are at least 5,000 different grades of tungsten carbide sold under more than 1,500 different trade names by more than 1,500 different companies.
Carbide’s certainly changed a lot since our company first started, and is growing more and more in use over steel. Mark Porath, Endurance Carbide’s General Manager, said to convince a customer in switching from steel to carbide still takes some doing because they worry that it will bust. Many are still hesitant, but it is getting so much better. Steel can be very forgiving in that regard, but we’ve found once someone does make the change, they never return to steel.